Source: Marbury Creative Group
There is a lot of anxiety, confusion, and stress around the current pandemic, the Coronavirus, now commonly referred to as COVID-19. For social media, it’s a tightrope walk between respectful acknowledgement of the current environment and the need to run a business and continuing to operate through its duration. Social media users are hypersensitive right now given that many brands are over-promoting and others are just trying to get through the crisis. As you know, many businesses have had to temporarily close, and some will likely not be able to reopen due to the losses during their shutdown. It truly is a time filled with anxiety and concern for business leaders.
Most brands are very apprehensive around posting on social media, scared they’ll get it wrong. As challenging as it may seem, we DO think brands should still have a presence on social media right now. Brands need to remain front-of-mind to consumers, even if they can’t go eat in your restaurants, or are having it delivered.
Here is a solution for you!
We think brands CAN be a part of the social conversation right now, but should avoid being over-promotional, instead making it about the customers, and should practice empathy. Here are the 4 questions you should be answering by posting right now.
1. If you’re a business, what is the status of your office or locations, and how can customers purchase from you?
We recommend placing all the info about how to purchase your products or services in one post and pin it to the top of your page. You can also do this on Twitter, and you should. Many people will need to restock up on food and other supplies, so it’s imperative that your customers know what to expect around purchasing your goods or services.
2. What are you doing in your community to help with this challenging time?
Many companies are partnering with local charitable organizations to help those in need, especially for those in their industry. Many are creating campaigns to help their employees, and your fans might want to support that. How can you share what you’re doing so your fans know that you care?
3. What types of content can you provide to your customers that is positive and takes their mind off of the challenging time we’re in? How can you add value to their day?
Many of your fans are weighed down by the weight of all of the current news, and many are itching for a reason to make them smile. Or laugh. And that can be done in a respectful way by honoring the situation but realizing its stressful for all of us. What types of content can you share that adds value to their day and what they’re dealing with each day? What tips and tricks can you share? What are some unique ways your fans can use your products that they might not have thought of?
4. How can you highlight your employees and remind fans how valuable these people are to them and your company?
The reality is that while YOUR vision created your business, your employees carry it out every day in your locations, and fans have grown to love those folks and the service they provide to your customers. And it’s very important to remind guests that employees jobs are at risk in times like this, and you don’t take that lightly. Highlight your employees to remind guests or customers why it’s so important for them to support you in times like this. Atlanta restauranteur Ryan Pernice (who owns Table & Main, Osteria Mattone, and Coalition) recorded a video where he showed all the cars in his restaurant’s parking lot to remind his customers of all of the people he employs who need their support to keep their jobs. It was a humble, yet honest plea, and one that resonated deeply with his audience. Not over dramatic, yet very raw and real. Highlight your employees and let your fans root for them with their support and give them ways to support them by purchasing from you as they can.